Present: Ian Burton-Palmer (Chair), Sheila Friend-Smith, Liz Sayers, Philip Eden, Liz Wainwright.
The chairman welcomed all to the meeting.
Sheila Friend-Smith gave us an update. The City Council will be involved in designing the bin store. A grant of approximately £20,000 is ready for use when planning is granted.
Further delays have been caused to this project. The Tree Officer has declared the need for a report from a civil engineer before anything else can be done. This project is now 2 years old and Philip has said that he will step in to help Sheila move things forward.
Apex Web Works now run the website for The Perspective. The contract is set-up to run year on year, with a review of the requirements to both parties upon the renewal of the contract each year.
Cost is £300 per annum and this includes the updates that can be added very quickly by Apex Web Works. We hope that this will help to form links with people around Ely and that interested parties can make a contribution via the web-pages if they require to do so.
The updated Action Plans for both the Riverside Group and the Design Group should be available shortly.
Philip Eden was able to give us a brief summary of Accounts. Philip stated that he has now received the new Welcome Pack from the Bank.
Banking transactions since April 24th are as follows:
• £70:00 Payment to St Peters Church for the use of Facilities
• 5:00 to Friends of Jubilee Gardens
• £300:00 to Apex Web Works
It was also agreed at this meeting that a £500.00 (five hundred pounds) contingency fund should be available for the period running up to the Christmas period.
The future of The Perspective Group continues to change with the requirements of the way in which Ely is changing. In particular the council is organising a meeting in which it intends to run a town management scheme. Tracey Coulson is the contact for this Forum/ meeting which takes place on 4th July. Sheila Friend-Smith will represent The Perspective at this meeting and will let it be known the The Perspective really needs to be involved. It was felt that The Perspective will still be a useful vehicle for the forum to use.
The Riverside Group may change, with it's profile being raised as the City Council have indicated that some changes may be due.
The Chairman (IBP) for the Perspective Executive is about to step down (end of July) and it was agreed that the Groups would ask if there was anyone who would like to volunteer to carry out the duties of this post.
Now that the new website is up and running, I am about to send over the Action Plans that already exist to Apex Web Works. These can then be posted onto the website.
At the moment they are marked as 2012/2013 Action Plans, but actually they hold information that is quite a bit older than that. IBP asked that both the Groups send over the updated information that will be required to get these plans up to date. Daniel from Apex Web Works will then post the new – updated plans – onto the website.
Sheila Friend Smith reported most of the updates for the Design Group in item 2 of these minutes.
Liz Sayers reported that an empty shop is about to be used for an art exhibition in the town.
Commemorative Plaques project is still ongoing. Costs to be agreed and some planning consent still to be acquired for Listed Buildings.
Liz stated that she has missed the last few meetings of the Riverside Group because they had been arranged at times when she was unable to attend. The times at which the meetings will take place are due to get back to a regular date – like the second Tuesday of each month – which will help the attendance numbers to increase again.
The Maltings Cottage project which had stalled by ECDC Council is now under negotiations for use by the City Council.
A suggestion has been made that a separate catering company should run the restaurant in The Maltings so that it would be open a little more often than it is right now. Concerns about how one set of kitchens would be able to run both sides of the business were voiced.
Canada Geese numbers seem to growing out of proportion, with 300-400 geese now in occupation along the riverside. The cleaning operations carried out by the council have been reduced, and this is exacerbated by the increase in numbers of birds causing mess. This issue needs to be addressed very soon in order to be sorted out.
Jubilee Gardens has had some people camping/sleeping rough/homeless now since December 2011/January 2012. Now the summer evenings have arrived and residents are opening windows at night in order to stay cool, the noise from the people who are homeless/living in the gardens is disturbing residents at night. This issue is quite a serious one because it may be setting a precedent for others to follow. The City Council could end up with lots of homeless people camping in the bushes.
The Gardens themselves have won several awards and are highly regarded by residents and visitors alike. So we are surprised that this issue has not been dealt with sooner. It seems to have been going on for over six months now.
From a Health & Safety viewpoint, the part of the gardens that the homeless people are camping in, happens to be the sensory part of the gardens, so visitors are encouraged to touch and feel and smell the planting in this area. It was pointed out that the closest public toilets are quite some distance from the gardens and the likelihood of those living in the gardens walking away to use a public toilet facility would be low. Therefore we must assume that the sensory garden will now hold traces of human urine and faeces. So by encouraging visitors to hold/touch/smell planting in this area, we may actually endangering visitors health by allowing them to walk in this area. As fully paid up members of the Friends of Jubilee Gardens, we think that some action should be taken to help those who are homeless, and that a large clean-up operation should be held following the removal of those who are living in the bushes.
Action Point for IBP to write to council/Liz Knox/Mayor/Leader of Council/Organisers of Aquafest in order to make them aware of these issues.
A discussion took place regarding the sale of Bags for Life and the price which we should set per bag and it was decided that £1 each would be appropriate. The most popular option seems to be to sell the bags in town on a market stall manned by members of the Perspective Group. Both IBP Liz Wainwright volunteered to man a stall in order to sell the bags for life.
Philip is to create a list showing the Traffic Regulations Review and Disabled Parking Review. Results to follow. Please note that this is a large job and may take some time.
Set-up Liz Wainwright as a Director of the Perspective Executive – Action IBP.
A meeting for Action for Market Towns is due on 18th & 19th July. Please ask if anyone from either of the groups would like to attend and discuss with Philip.
Tuesday 25th September at 7pm at St Peter's Hall, Broad Street, Ely.